a few Questions

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by wolfteethclub, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. wolfteethclub

    wolfteethclub White Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2020
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I think I've heard there have been techniques and styles lost to time but does anyone know if these techniques are still documented/practiced or do you think they got lost to time/destruction as well? Can you guys provide any evidence? The reason I ask is becuase I've seen a kung fu video where a guy puts his hands on his hips and keeps repetitively turning his hips with his arms and have been wondering if this is more ceremonial or something, since it doesn't look viable in any way and the instructor doesn't even mention how to use some of these moves. I saw it on youtube but can't find the video or remember the style.

    Also do any ma styles have moves exclusive to just a certain type of wepaon you won't find in another? My understanding is many martial arts share alot of the same movements because the body can only move in so many ways.

    Does weapon based fighting use the same positions/movement as their empty handed couterpart or are there variances even in the same style? And do all weapon styles employ an empty handed version as well?

    Also does anyone reccomend and video series where they show how to fight with one weapon versus another? I've been looking alot at the kung fu styles but can't really anything. Will I get a rough approximation of how this might work for kung fu weapons (or other styles?) if I look at HEMA videos or manuscripts?

    Can a bigger and/or stronger opponent swing his body weight or a weapon faster/or the same and recover faster/or the same of someone smaller in size swinging the same weapon or a lighter one even? Are there any videos on this or other research that you guys can point me to on the matter?

    Finally how can one really know what moves are viable in a fight from any discipline versus each other? Can something like this be tested on a 1:1 ratio?

    Thankyou!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
  2. BrendanF

    BrendanF Green Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    43
    - If techniques or styles are lost to time, by definition they are... lost?
    - Hands on hips and swing them all about sounds like the hokey pokey?
    - I believe some weapon based styles do have unique movements that are exclusive to that particular weapon. Rope dart comes to mind. Many weapons must be used in a specific way, which is different to unarmed fighting, or the use of a different weapon.
    - Many weapon based styles use the same positions/movement as their empty handed component, yes. Not all though. No, not all weapon styles include empty handed training also.
    - Weapon arts are less common, and most practitioners feel that video training is inadequate.
    - No idea what you mean about the speed of swinging a weapon or recovery, sorry. Sounds like something someone who doesn't train would concern themselves with. FWIW I'm a 6'4" athletic mid-30s guy. My teacher is a 5 foot tall mid 60s lady who is scary with a weapon in her hand.
    - With weapon arts it is not possible to genuinely fight and 'know what moves are viable' - this results in serious injury or death and is illegal in all developed countries today. That is why I think it is important to connect to a legitimate art with a history going back to a time when people still did fight with weapons.
     
  3. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    12,920
    Likes Received:
    2,528
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    China is a huge nation, with many different cultural groups and geographic regions. In history, China has has countless martial methods, many of which were regional "village" or "family" systems. These were not widely practiced, and were used by the people of a region, such as a village, as a line of defense against marauders and such, in an era when one could not simply call the police for help during an attack. In the modern day, it is reasonable to suppose that many of these local systems have gone extinct, as they were no longer necessary. The local people no longer had a need for the training, interest in it waned, and they simply stopped. Many of these methods would not necessarily even had a special name, beyond "fighting method of X Village". If nobody from that village or family or region evern left the area and brought the method somewhere new like the US or other parts of the West, then we simply never would have seen them. But I am sure many of them are now gone, while probably many of them remain in their native region and we still have not seen them for the reason mentioned above.

    Regarding the hands-on-hips turning the waist. What you describe sounds like a method used by the Tibetan family of systems that derived from the Tibetan Lion's Roar original system. These three related systems are now known as Lama Pai (method of the Tibetan Lamas), Hop Gar, and Tibetan White Crane (the system that I train and study). I would need to see a video to confirm if it is what it sounds like you are describing, but assuming my reading is correct, this is a viable training method that helps develop a full-body engagement in rotating the torso. This is used as a method of generating great power and force when delivering techniques such as a punch. So yes, it is a viable training method but you do need to understand what it is and how it is used in order for it to make sense and have value to you. To simply watch it out of context, does make it seem strange. But it is not the Hokey Pokey.

    I suspect it is unlikely to find a technique that is absolutely exclusive to one system only. Some techniques are unusual and may be found in limited numbers of systems, and it is debatable whether they developed the same technique independenly, or if the technique developed in one system and was adopted by others. Some of these things do not have clear answers.

    In my experience, quality weapons training will follow the same principles upon which the empty-hand methods are built, for a particular system. That is true in the Tibetan Crane that I train. That waist turning that I described above has relevance to the weapons training as well. There ought to be consistency in the training methodologies, or else it becomes disjointed and can become much less effective.

    I have no input on this. I generally feel that trying to learn a martial method via video is not a good way to go about it.

    Fitness matters, but so does good technique. So to answer your question, I would say both Yes, and It Depends.

    If you are getting quality training from a knowledgeable teacher, then as a beginner you are going to have to have some amount of faith in the teaching. As you develop your own experience, you can better judge for yourself what works well for you, which may not be the same as what works well for someone else. There is no clean answer to this, and there is no method that is objectively the "best". However, I do hold that one system may be better for a particular person than another, and for each person the answer could be different. So find something that you find interesting and makes sense to you, and for which you can get quality instruction. That is a good choice for you, even if it isn't the best choice for someone else.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. wolfteethclub

    wolfteethclub White Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2020
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thank you! I really appreciate your thoughtful replies and taking the time to answer them all.

    @Flying Crane The reason I also ask my first question is because I wanted to know if there are moves like in the chinese martial arts or others that have movement that are known of today, but don't how how to be effectively applied, because they got lost to time, etc.? Also the reason I was asking about the weapon vs weapon videos is not to necessarily learn from them, but because it was more or less to take the guess work out of knowing how their movement would hold up against eachother. It's for a 3d animation project. Thankyou again! God Bless!
     
  5. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    10,656
    Likes Received:
    6,991
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    Just wanted to say, Welcome to Martial Talk, Wolfteethclub. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    12,920
    Likes Received:
    2,528
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    A lot of it depends on the quality of the teaching. A lot of kung fu systems use forms as a training methodology, and the movements can seem abstract and unclear on how you would apply them. Add to that the fact that not all systems are constructed in the same manner, and it can be very confusing for someone looking in from the outside.

    A good teacher should help the student understand how to apply what is found in the curriculum, including in the forms. That should include helping a student understand how to interpret movement and possibly find multiple applications for the same movement. Unfortunately not all teachers are good at passing that information along.

    So yes, there can be a lot of movement within a system that a practitioner may not understand well. But that can also vary widely from person to person, and school to school.

    In terms of the weapons, I’m doubtful you will find videos like you are describing, at least for Chinese martial arts. Maybe for HEMA. The weapons material that I have been taught is pretty wide in application, not specific against a certain weapon. You drill the hell out of it, and would adjust to fit the situation if you ever needed to use it. Not much probability of that in the modern age, however, with things like swords and spears.
     
  7. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

    • Advisor
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,282
    Likes Received:
    1,078
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Huber Heights, OH
    Many HEMA studies are reconstructions of martial skills that were documented in various manuals but had no "living tradition" that could be found. This is particularly true of the Longsword practice. While there may (or may not) be some secret and/or hidden enclave still practicing some Longsword as a living tradition, they're not telling anyone about it and are keeping it to themselves. Thus there are a lot of researchers who are reconstructing this art based on documents, manuals, "experimental archeology," and sometimes a fair dash of understanding in a similar, analogous, system (sometimes referred to as "frog DNA").

    Over the years, I have found that similar weapons, founded in similar environmental conditions (clothing, terrain, etc.) will independently generate similar techniques and movements. While there will inevitably be a sort of cultural "flavor" to the art, many of the base movements, footwork, and techniques look similar from (for example) European Cutlass systems and many of the Chinese Dao systems.

    Usually, when a system includes both empty hand and weapons, the footwork and "body positions" will look substantially the same.

    Frequently, no.

    You're best off finding an instructor to teach you that.

    Maybe. You need a foundation and an understanding of how the human body moves, and is injured, and an understanding of the basic weapon in question. A heavy, curved, chopper/slasher is, perforce, going to move and be used similarly to another, regardless of the skin color of the person using it.

    In that a bigger and stronger person may have more muscle ability to halt the movement or to impel the weapon, yes, but only to a point.

    By fighting.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2019
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    354
    Trophy Points:
    218
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Flying Crane covered things very well, and I have only a little to add, mostly in regards to Okinawa.

    As in China, Okinawa (as small as it is) had styles particular to individual villages and/or family tradition. It's hard to say why some vanished and others survived. Often, when family based, and the patriarch died without an actively practicing heir, the style died too.

    I think the more remote the village, the greater risk of extinction. Most surviving styles center in one main area which is the castle and main port region: Naha, Shuri and Tomari villages are all very near together and today would be considered the same greater metropolitan area, though in the past would have been more isolated from each other. These main Okinawan towns would have had the most contact with China and Japan and the resulting influx of MA skills, so it is not surprising that this area had a better success rate in retaining their MA heritage.

    So Naha's Gojuryu and Shuri's Shorinryu have become the two dominant branches of Okinawan MA (Tomari-te largely got absorbed into Shorin, but I think there are still some dojos claiming the Tomari lineage of Motobu Choku, and his teacher, Matsumora. If not the style as a whole, Tomari-te's influence lives on.

    Perhaps unlike China, Okinawa's empty hand karate and weapon's (kobudo) training mostly evolved independently from each other. But as weapons are largely extensions of the arms, many movements are similar. While some of the old masters knew both, it was not until Taira Shinken (1930's and 40's) that the various Okinawan weapons were brought into the mainline of karate. So, weapons kata were not developed concurrently with empty hand kata and are mostly distinct from each other.

    However, today, there can be seen some weapon versions of empty hand kata. I think, two reasons for that: First, when teaching weapon, there are many new moves, footwork, technique and dexterity involved. Trying to teach all this at once can be daunting. So basing the beginning weapons kata on a known empty handed one makes it more familiar to the student as he kind of knows the main pattern already and can concentrate more on the weapon, itself. This is best left to a master.

    The second reason for finding weapon versions of empty hand kata is just plain ignorance. There are karate teachers who have not been trained in weapons or weapon kata, but want to teach them (or maybe for their own enjoyment). Since they know no weapon kata, they use an empty hand kata they know to come up with something. This (along with often learning weapons from YouTube,) usually leads to an ineffective and fundamentally unsound result.123
     
    • Like Like x 2

Share This Page